Orra Monnette

Did You Know?

Orra Monnette was the founder of the Bank of America, Los Angeles. 

He would later become the first president of the Bank of America, as well its co-chairman.  

Prior to Monnette’s creation of the Bank of America Los Angeles network, most banks were limited to a single city or region. Monnette was the first to create a system of centralized processing, bookkeeping and cash delivery.

Later in life, Monnette served as President of the Los Angeles Public Library System from 1915-1936. In today’s LA Central Library rotunda is a plaque dedicated to Monnette.

Orra Monnette
Orra Monnette

Early Life

In 1873, Orra Monnette was born in Crawford County, in the rural town of Monnett, Ohio.  The town of Monnett was founded by his father and two uncles to develop a train stop aiding in the shipment of their cattle. 

Monnett is located just 6.5 miles south of Bucyrus. 

When Orra was nine years old, his family moved to the city of Bucyrus into a house on Rogers Street. He lived in Bucyrus (with the exception of his college years at Ohio Wesleyan) until the age of 32.

Orra was born in Monnett, Ohio (Crawford County) , April 12, 1873 to Mervin and Olive Monnette.  There  the family lived on the Scioto Stock Farm.

Around 1882, when Orra was about nine years old, his father, Mervin, gave up his daily agricultural activities while retaining his landed interests.  The family moved to the city of Bucyrus, in Crawford County, Ohio. 

The Bucyrus City Hospital is the area in which the Monnette Memorial Hospital once stood.

In 1919, Mervin Monnette, Orra’s father, purchased and subsequently donated this home to the city of Bucyrus to serve as a hospital.

In 1949, that structure was demolished. and the current Bucyrus City Hospital was built.

Monnette Street, Bucyrus, OH
Orra Street, Bucyrus, OH
Monnette Memorial Hospital

Mervin and Olive Monnette’s Farmstead in Crawford County, Ohio

Mervin then invested in and became director of the formerly named Crawford County Bank. 

The bank was later named  the Second National Bank of Bucyrus.  Mervin Monnette was president of the Second National Bank of Bucyrus from 1881-1897.  This bank was originally organized by Orra’s grandfather, Abrahmam Monnette and Mervin’s father-in-law, George Hull.

Currency from Second National Bank
Second National Bank
Second National Bank of Bucyrus

Orra grew up most of his childhood on Rogers Street In Bucyrus.

In that Bucyrus childhood home, Orra lived with his father, Mervin, and his mother, Olive. His brother, Clark, died at a very young age (b. 1887- d.1888) Clark is buried in Bucyrus Oakwood Cemetery.

Orra’s boyhood Bucyrus home on Rogers eventually became the Kings Daughters Home, a home for orphaned children from 1921 to 1961.

Today, the property on which Orra’s childhood home once stood is now where the Maplecrest-Kings Daughters Retirement Home is located.

King's Daughter's Home
(formerly the boyhood home of Orra Monnette)
Young Orra Monnette
Young Orra Monnette
Carrie Monnette
Carrie Monnette
Orra's second wife
Monnette Hall, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH

In 1895, Orra Monnette graduated from Ohio Wesleyan with distinction and then returned to Bucyrus.

In this same year, he also married Carrie Lucile Janeway of Columbus, Ohio.

Shortly after Orra moved back to Bucyrus, his father and mother moved out West. Their move would ultimately be a fortuitous move for the entire family.

Upon his return to Bucyrus, Orra initially worked at Second National Bank (his father’s bank located on North Sandusky).

But by 1896, Orra resigned from the bank and entered the law office of Finley, Beer & Bennett in Bucyrus, Ohio.

Later that year, Orra was admitted  to the Ohio Bar.

221 South Poplar Street (Lot #293) in Bucyrus
Monnette deed,
purchase of property

In 1899, Orra Monnette purchased a home on 221 South Poplar Street (Lot #293) in Bucyrus. 

Today, that same property serves as the law office of Attorney David Cory.

By 1903, Orra Monnette resigned from the Bucyrus law firm and moved to Toledo, Ohio.

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